It is 11 pm here in Paris and I am wrapping up an exhausting day of visiting beautiful Versailles. Last night I watched a movie about Marie Antoinette, starring Kirsten Dunst, and I got a first glimpse of what court and royal culture was like back in the prime of Versailles and Marie Antoinette’s reign. The movie shot in 2009, was actually filmed in Versailles, unlike many movies that are unable to film on locations as historic as the palace is. It offers a snapshot of what Marie Antoinette life was like after marrying Louis the XVI in 1770. I highly recommend the movie for anyone interested in it.
This morning I woke up at 6:30 for Paris’ finest croissants. Now I’m not kidding when I say that. Every year local judges taste the best croissants in the area and the bakery across from the Cite won the competition this year. They were divine! We took the train to Versailles and arrived promptly at 8:50, 10 minutes before opening. We were some of the first people into the palace yard, but the crowds were not far behind us.
Once inside I was completely stunned. Every square inch is covered in the most beautiful marble, art, linens, drapery, and furniture. Every room you walked into was adorned in gold molding with creamy white doors while large windows let in the warm morning sunlight. My favorite room in the palace was Marie Antoinette’s bedroom. It was covered in a soft pink floral print and everything just looked so perfect. I was very excited to see the portrait of Marie Antoinette and her children, a propaganda piece the Queen had made to seem motherly to the French citizens who were not fond of her. We made our way through various rooms of wall side paintings ranging from the Battle of York to the Coronation of Napoleon.
Outside, we wandered around the gardens of the palace and sat for lunch amidst large pink roses and tall green trees. We shared laughs over a large plate of burrata while we ate gnocchi, pork, and pastas for lunch. We sat for a long time enjoying the beautiful atmosphere and the made our way to a little train that would take us to Marie Antoinette’s Hamlet. As Queen, she designed the Hamlet to replicate the local village so that her and her friends could play poor. It felt like Disney walking outside the small buildings, but what was amazing was how well kept the gardens were. Vegetables, fruits, and flowers are still grown throughout the Hamlet’s gardens. It was all so surreal, I was constantly reminding myself of where I was.
The whole day was amazing. I enjoyed every minute, even when my legs felt like they were going to give our. Okay maybe not so much that part, but I still enjoyed every minute. It was all a dream. Pictures to come!